By Robert Cresanti
Hundreds of small-business owners from across the U.S. will descend on Capitol Hill this week to talk about how decisions made in Washington are impacting their daily lives. All small-business owners are feeling the weight of higher taxes, increased regulations and the continuing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. These burdens are part of a sadly persistent drumbeat of anti-business policies that has made it harder for them to operate and create jobs. The franchising industry has felt the brunt of this onslaught. Now, thankfully, several lawmakers have introduced bipartisan legislation to help franchise small businesses push back against these obstacles to success.
The Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, introduced by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the Senate, and Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., and Phil Roe, R-Texas, in the House, will provide franchise businesses much needed certainty in the face of an unrelenting barrage of regulatory action. The bill would reset an imbalance created by the National Labor Relations Board when it released a major decision earlier last month. The NLRB declared Browning-Ferris Industries, a California-based recycling company, to be a “joint employer” with Leadpoint, a staffing services company. This decision ignored more than 50 years of regulatory and legal precedent and retroactively adopted a far broader definition of “joint employer” than had ever been contemplated. The fallout from the decision will not be limited to Browning-Ferris. It will hurt franchise small businesses throughout the U.S., leaving 780,000 franchise businesses and the nearly 9 million jobs they create at risk. Full story